Special report: Palestine-Israel Relations
GAZA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- A Hamas spokesman on Monday rejected the return of the European Union observers to help monitor Rafah crossing on the borders between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Upon a U.S.-brokered deal in November 2005, Israel agreed to allow the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to run the crossing in the presence of European Union observers.
Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said in a statement that the agreement, which allowed the Europeans to monitor Rafah crossing, was reached between Israel and the PNA in 2005 and it has expired.
"This agreement was only for one year, and it has already expired. What we want is to have a crossing run only by the Palestinians and Egypt without the intervention of anybody," said Barhoum.
"The expired agreement to operate Rafah crossing led to more suffering and more siege, therefore we want to operate Rafah crossing without new suffering and a new siege," said Barhoum.
However, the spokeswoman of the European Mission at Rafah Crossing Maria Teleria told reporters that the agreement to operate Rafah Crossing was reached with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, not with Hamas.
"Therefore, we would return back to Rafah Crossing and resume our activities as soon as the political situation in the Palestinian territories improves," said Teleria.
"The European Union Mission at Rafah Crossing doesn't talk to Hamas, and we would return back to observe the crossing only if the political circumstances change," she added.